Saturday night's Athletics victory over the Seattle Mariners finally budged the magic number counter off of 16, where it had sat for three consecutive days, down to 14. A win today against Seattle will knock that number down to 12. The A's have a 1½-game advantage over Seattle now, and a ½-game lead on Kansas City for home field in the American League Wild Card game that will be played on Tuesday, September 30.
|KC||81||66||--||Win||15||2-5||M# for home field in the AL Wild Card|
|SEA||80||67||1.0||Loss||14||8-10||M# for the second Wild Card (1 to play HTH)|
|TEX||56||92||25.5||Win||Elim.||7-5||7 to play HTH|
|LAA||93||55||+11.0||Win||8-8||3 to play HTH|
Some snippets from around the SBNation network of Saturday's AL Wild Card race:
Much like most of the season, the Yankees offense went through a long stretch of doing nothing today. It's just that before they did that, they managed to pull a three-run inning out of who knows where. Shane Greene was impressive early, but the Orioles would mount a comeback. In the end, the three runs managed to hold up and the Yankees came away with a 3-2 win.
Two 3-run innings were all the Jays needed today.
Dickey went 7 innings, allowed 4 hits, 2 walks, 3 earned and struck out 5. That's our 19th game in a row that our starter pitched at least 6 innings. Pitching hasn't been so much of the problem lately.
Down a run to the Cleveland Indians and running out of chances and outs, Alex Avila's clutch two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the Detroit Tigers a drama-filled 5-4 victory. The win allows the Tigers to maintain their half-game lead over the Kansas City Royals in the race for the AL Central title.
In the end, the Tribe danced much better with a strong Tiger's lineup but just couldn't walk away with the victory. They fought all night long and did a good job of coming back when the Tigers took the lead but it wasn't enough. We're now one day close to our reality, whatever that may be.
Royals 7, Red Sox 1
The Royals beat the Red Sox handily tonight, and contrary to popular belief they are allowed to score more than 3 runs in a game.
Despite entering the game only making twenty career appearances at DH, and hitting .211/.211/.316, Aoki would get the start there tonight and go 2-4 with an RBI and cementing his place as full time DH going forward. Royals would get multi-hit games from multi-players, including a 3-hit spot from Infante who was somehow allowed to not bat second.
Athletics 3, Mariners 2 (10)
That's why the Mariners don't carry that manifest destiny that truly captivating teams do. That's why "because Mariners" still seems to stick. They win forgettably and lose painfully. If this were 1984, or even 2004, we would look at these one-run games and blame it on the manager, the symptom of a lack of heart or desire. Now we understand, through we are not consoled by it, that the team is doing the right things, just not in the right order.
Sunday's games to watch
Another full day of baseball is on order for the interested parties in the American League Wild Card race. A pair of games get underway at 10 o'clock: (1) Rays-Blue Jays and (2) Indians-Tigers. At 11 o'clock, Red Sox-Royals. The Athletics take on the Mariners at 1 o'clock, and then Yankees-Orioles at 5 o'clock is your Sunday Night Baseball matchup on ESPN.
|Time (PT)||Starting Pitcher||Notes|
|10:07 AM||Rays||Chris Archer (9-8, 3.63)||M# vs. TOR = 11|
|Blue Jays||Mark Buehrle (12-9, 3.31)|
|10:08 AM||Indians||Trevor Bauer (5-8, 4.12)||
M# vs. CLE = 10
M# vs. DET = 15
|Tigers||Justin Verlander (13-12, 4.82)|
|11:10 AM||Red Sox||Joe Kelly (3-4, 4.14)||M# vs. KCR = 15|
|Royals||Jason Vargas (11-8, 3.25)|
|1:10 PM||Athletics||Jon Lester (14-10, 2.52)||M# vs. SEA = 14|
|Mariners||Chris Young (12-7, 3.35)|
|5:00 PM||Yankees||Hiroki Kuroda (10-9, 3.91)||M# vs. NYY = 10|
|Orioles||Chris Tillman (12-5, 3.36)|